Brussels for mussels and more

Facade of Brussels Beer Cafe at the Little Red Cube
Nick and his wife June asked me to dine with them at Brussels Beer Café.  It’s been a while since we met and I’m looking forward to seeing them again.  Their choice of restaurant rings a bell because I remember passing it on the promenade or lower ground floor of the Little Red Cube.  Then I discover that since it opened for business 10 months ago, Brussels Beer Café has become a favourite spot for regulars to chill out with friends over good food and a wide range of beers!

Brussels Beer Café is an established brand in the North so fans will be delighted to know that this is the chain’s first outlet in Johor Baru (with plans to open more!) in an ideal spot that overlooks the marina at Puteri Harbour.  

Half-portion of crispy pork knuckle with a side of brown sauce
Even though it’s a short drive from the city to Nusajaya, the lovely view and ambiance by night all works well to create a feeling like we are in some exotic holiday destination.  Maybe it’s because of the mixed group seated around us, with fast-emptying glasses and plates, who clearly agree that this is just the spot to relax and retreat from the pressures of city life.

Nick and June are looking well and as we catch up on what’s happening, Nick introduces me to his friends, Dave Lim and Hubert Lim (no relation!) the gentlemen who run Brussels Beer Café.  Talking is making us thirsty so Dave recommends a choice of beers from their 32 types of bottled and on-tap beers.  

Bitterballen, a savoury Dutch appetizer at Brussels Beer Cafe
The Hoegaarden White brew is a familiar favourite but Dave insists that the Hoegaarden Rosee comes highly recommended.  Just one gulp of the frothy pint and I can attest to its popularity because it’s lower alcohol content (about 3%) and refreshing, sweet fruity raspberry taste, is really rather nice.

Then we are studying the menu to select our meals to share because I’m ever ready to have a taste of more varieties of food.  We must of course, have the Brussels’ style pork knuckle with a side of brown sauce.  Our half portion of crispy roasted pork knuckle is nicely chopped up and served mixed with sautéed potatoes and mushrooms – and tastes so good on its own that I did not need any dip sauce.  The crackling is super crisp and a perfect foil for the juicy meat and the tender taste of potatoes and mushrooms. 

Mussels Provencale in a pot with a side of bread slices
We pick a popular appetizer – Bitterballen, a savoury Dutch meat-based snack.  This serving of crispy breaded balls are made with a blend of mince pork and cheese and served with a mustard dip. 

Brussels is also the place for mussels.  Fans can enjoy their favourite mussels prepared in various flavours with white wine or beer, served either in half or whole portions.  We decide on a pot of mussels prepared in the Provencale style – cooked with bacon, sundried tomatoes, mixed herbs and wine – served with a side of bread or fries.  These plump Dutch mussels taste fresh and juicy as we shamelessly dig in with our fingers to savour the tasty gravy to the very last drop!

A serving of Brussels' foot-long sausage
For sausage fans, the Brussels’ Foot-long Sausage is a must-try.  As its name describes, it is a foot-long sausage garnished with lashings of mustard and garlic aioli sauce, served on a toasted baguette with a side of salad and frites – the French way of saying French fries.  Dave says these sausages are very popular with regulars who often enjoy an entire sausage individually, as a main course meal! 

He told us an interesting experience where a large group of diners placed orders for foot-long sausages all around and wanted them served together.  This posed quite a challenge as multiple servings of the same item require advance preparation but the kitchen somehow managed it.  And now to avoid disappointment and to lessen the stress in the kitchen, Dave recommends advance orders especially for larger groups of diners.

Chunks of roast pork in the Roast Pork Aglio Olio pasta
Then we are sampling the braised Pork Belly which June kindly sliced up for us.  The meat is fragrant with Fransizkanar sauce, a delicious flavour that complements the side of sautéed vegetables and Belgian stoemp.  This stoemp is the richer Brussels version of mashed potatoes mixed with root vegetables like carrots and onions, bacon, herbs and spices.  I must say that I more than like this dish and made a mental note to order it again when I’m next at Brussels Beer Café.

For pasta, our choice is Roast Pork Aglio Olio and I’m delighted to observe that the chunks of roast pork are reminiscent of the siew yoke from the traditional Chinese char siew – siew yoke stalls.  It’s really quite an extraordinary experience to enjoy pasta with Chinese style siew yoke!  

Chef Kong presents a platter of Pork Belly
Then Dave introduces us to Executive Chef Kong, the man who ensures that food quality standards are maintained to the Brussels Beer Café requirements.  Food is flying out of the kitchen to be served to eagerly anticipating customers, so Chef Kong has to hurry back to his work station. 

I know Nick and June are enjoying the meal as much as I am because we somehow manage to tuck away our portion of Belgian Classic Liege Salad, Brussels Chicken and Salmon Ala Meuniere.  Another peek in the menu tells me that there is also a range of appetizers and soups, and main course dishes like beef steaks, lamb chops and burgers to enjoy.  Having discovered more reasons to dine here again, I’m so glad Nick and June asked me to dine with them at Brussels.

Then it’s time for dessert and I always have space for dessert.  At first, I think it’s a toss-up among the Crème Brulee, Chocolate Brownie and Tiramisu but when I sample them, I find myself reaching for the Tiramisu again and again.  In the end, I must declare that Brussels’ Tiramisu wins hands down!

Mmm... delicious Tiramisu at Brussels Beer Cafe!
View of Puteri Harbour from Brussels Beer Cafe in Nusajaya, Johor
Brussels Beer Café, a Non-Halal restaurant, has outlets in various malls in Kuala Lumpur like Jaya One, Hap Seng, Ampang, Solaris Mon’t Kiara, Sunway Pyramid, Setia Walk and at Gurney Paragon in Penang.  Its first outlet in JB is in Nusajaya, located at Lot 5, Lower Ground Floor of the Little Red Cube, Persiaran Puteri Selatan in Puteri Harbour.  Reservations are recommended.  Tel: 607 – 5095 626.  Website:


No comments:

Post a Comment